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Digital Incentives and Wallet-Enabled Rewards 

Payments innovation is driving a better incentives experience 

For me, working for an incentives company nestled within in a larger gift card and branded value network, it is fascinating to connect the rapid payments evolution to incentives and how brands engage with their participants.

At our recent Blackhawk Summit, we were fortunate to both listen in on and take part in some brilliant discussions. One of particulare note was a panel discussion between some of our friends from Google and Mastercard, and our product leaders, Jennifer Worley and Yale Vinson, about how the mobile payments landscape will impact incentives. 

The payments space is spectacular with innovation right now. From burgeoning startup apps, new ways to pay like Venmo, a strong adoption of mobile payments and wallets, and innovative companies like Upside, the payments landscape is evolving on a daily basis. 

Some great takeaways from our fantastic clients and other industry leaders include: 

1.  A mobile wallet is more than a place to store gift cards and credit cards.

With technologies like Blackhawk’s Digital Pass™, you will be able to connect loyalty programs, gift cards, prepaid cards and offers. The future of mobile wallets for marketers is very exciting. The rewards-based incentive market (think rebates, incentive cards, loyalty rewards, prepaid cards) can place marketers directly in this coveted space. 

2.  Mobile wallet payments are already a reality:

  • $113.5 billion global mobile wallet market1
  • 55% of consumers have made a wallet payment2
  • 34% of consumers have used “tap & pay” 2

3.  Consumers want more from mobile wallets:

  • 67% want loyalty cards
  • 62% want coupons

4.  Mobile and IoT trends: 

  • By 2020 there will be 34 billion connected intelligent devices4 
  • Connected devices are accelerating digital payments. By 2020, networks will see $6 to $7 trillion in digital payments4

The excitement around mobile wallets and incentives is palpable. As businesses like Hawk Incentives and our parent company, Blackhawk Network, continue to push digital and wallet innovation, we are excited about the potential and the drive for a better incentives experience. 

Digital rewards are here. At Hawk Incentives, we offer our clients a number of global digital reward options, from egift to virtual prepaid. These digital rewards help to create a better incentives experience, as they can be delivered instantly, via email or text. And egifts can be used immediately online, in-store or via mobile. 

Watch our recorded webinar, “Delivering Rewards in an Instant World” to to learn how digital, instant activation and mobile rewards can enhance your incentive program experience.

As mobile wallet technology evolves, our clients are increasingly excited at the prospect of being able to deliver an incentive directly to consumers’ wallets. The mobile wallet connection will be a huge leap forward in extending the customer lifetime value of a single promotion or campaign. 

Imagine the future of, say, a rebate promotion. A customer sees a great offer, buys your product, claims their rebate. In minutes, a digital reward is in their inbox, prompting them to add to their digital wallet of choice.

One this rebate card appears in the wallet, you (smart marketer than you are) send them an in-wallet thank-you message that invites the customer to join your loyalty program, or follow you on Twitter. Maybe you sweeten the deal with the promise of an additional $10 on that digital card for signing up. 

Now, with your established wallet real estate, you can intelligently push new offers based on the data you collect from the rebate transaction, the wallet data and/or loyalty information obtained at signup. Personalization and geo-targeting are just the beginning of the conversations that incentives in-wallet will enable. 

Based on our mission of creating a better incentives experience, we are thrilled about the potential of digital rewards and mobile wallets. It taps directly into our mission’s four pillars: 

  • Access: Mobile wallets will enable the mobile-minded to engage with your brands in their preferred format. 
  • Ease: Consumers will be able to add digital rewards to their chosen wallets with the touch of a button
  • Rewards: Digital rewards offer new options, creating even broader appeal for incentive program and promotion participants. 
  • Speed: Nothing is faster than right now. 

We look forward to taking this journey with you and leading the innovation in digital rewards and mobile wallets. It’s all about a better incentives experience! 

To learn more about our digital rewards and wallet solutions, feel free to contact me at

by Theresa McEndree, VP of Marketing, Hawk Incentives

1.  Pandal, Natraj, “Mobile Wallet and Payment Technologies: Global Markets.” June 2016, BCC Research. 
2.  Auriemma Consulting Group, “Consumer Mobile Payment Trends.” June 2015. ChangeWave Alliance, 2015. Wristly Survey U.S. and U.K., 2015. 
3.  Mastercard (in partnership with PRIME Research), “The 5th Annual Mastercard Digital Payments Study.” February 2017.
4.  BI Intelligence, “The Internet of Everything: 2015.” April 2015.



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